Liam Allan: 1:1

5 February - 5 March 2023

Marvin Gardens is pleased to announce the opening of “1:1,” a solo exhibition of recent graphite drawings by Liam Allan. This is the artist’s first solo show in New York, and his first with the gallery.


In this extremely tight show of only four works, Allan presents us with intensely rendered pictures of objects at a one-to-one ratio of their actual size, hence the title of the show. However, the works undergo a large amount of editing as images in Photoshop before they are translated into graphite on paper. At first glance one gets the impression of photo-realism, however these works are at least twice removed. The computer editing as a creative process alters the original source image and removes its context. Furthermore, seen up close the marking and blending of the graphite is more akin to painting, think Velasquez as an exaggerated example of how the image is built out of marks up-close to read clearly when seen at a distance.


These works propose a self-awareness that attempts to address their position as drawings. Where the methods of their creation are used consciously as signs that are inextricably part of their meaning as objects. They are the result of research, editing, layout, and execution. A concise reasoning grants them their presence, or in other words, lends them reasons for existing. Through this circular logic, we are now back at their door, seeing them for the first time once again, and again, in a kind of existentialist loop.